LINCOLN, Neb. — If you’re a fan of running the football, you’ll like what offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf had to say following Nebraska’s practice on Thursday.
When asked how often he would like to run the ball versus passing it, Langsdorf said it depends heavily on the game. However, he would like to see a balanced approach across the board.
“It’s hard to put a number on it because it’s really how the defense is playing,” Langsdorf said. “If they’re playing hard and a lot of guys in the box, it’s going to be sometimes tough to run so we have to be able to soften them up and then get back to running.
“We always feel we’re at our best when we’re balanced. If we can be a good balance of run and then the play-actions off of it, that’s when we do our best. If we get too one-dimensional either way, it’s not very good. I just think the balance of it [and] to get a number is tough. It depends on who we’re playing.”
Speaking of the running game, Langsdorf confirmed what Huskers coach Mike Riley had to say about the running backs and the possibility of using a committee approach again this season. Both Langsdorf and Riley are hoping to settle on a starter by the end of this week, but Langsdorf is willing to give it a little more time if need be.
Langsdorf ultimately wants to see the running backs in a live setting before making too many final decisions.
“It’s a tough evaluation until you go live,” Langsdorf said. “I think Mikale [Wilbon] has done some really good stuff. Tre Bryant has had a good camp. I don’t think anybody has separated from that group quite yet. I think we need a little more work, some live stuff is going to help us.
“Devine [Ozigbo] has really run the ball hard. I think Jaylin Bradley has progressed nicely as a freshman. You’ve got to get some live tackling in there to have a good evaluation. When you’re doing things that aren’t live, it makes it hard sometimes to see how they’re hitting the whole and breaking tackles and taking on those hits.
“It’s just a tough evaluation and we haven’t really had anyone take off with that job yet.”
Notes from Thursday’s practice
• Three NFL scouts were on hand Thursday. Those in attendance represented the Denver Broncos, the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
• Langsdorf likes the progression he’s seen from Nebraska’s young offensive tackles. He was complimentary of three individuals specifically.
“Christian Gaylord, Brenden Jaimes and we’ve got [Matt] Farniok on the other side,” Langsdorf said. “All three of them have come along. They’re young and they’re getting a lot of good work. They’re young, they’re taking some time, but I think they’re progressing.”
• Staying on the topic of the offensive line, Langsdorf has liked how the group has bonded. He feels it has helped the group’s progression since last season.
“We had some tough pressure that we have to handle,” Langsdorf said. “I think all the pressure we’re seeing in practice has been really good. It’s been hard. Overall, we’re protecting well. Part of it is the quarterback getting rid of the ball. I like how they’ve come along. They’ve really come together as a group. We had a couple of guys off the edge that were free and we’ve got to be able to call it correctly and be on the same page.
“Again, that takes some time to jell together, but they’ve progressed along pretty nicely.”
• Freshman wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey had a great day of practice. One of the biggest moments of the day came when Lindsey ran a deep route down the sideline, fully protected by two defensive backs. Quarterback Tanner Lee fired the ball Lindsey’s way and he leaped for a one-handed catch.
While Langsdorf would still like to see more from Lindsey, Thursday was a perfect example of what the coaches had hoped for when recruiting him.
“Today was a little bit better example of what he can do and what he can show,” Langsdorf said. “There’s been some days where he’s played maybe not as fast because he’s probably thinking, but I like what I saw today. He had a better day.”
• With just more than two weeks until Nebraska’s first game, we captured the sights and sounds from Thursday’s practice. Strength coach Mark Philipp yelling ‘Let’s go, baby!’ is enough to fire up anyone.